A lot of working-age Americans receive health insurance benefits from their employers. But not everyone is that lucky. This is where Medicaid comes in. Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides funding for the health care services for a variety of low-income individuals. The program was created in 1965 by the same legislation that established Medicare.
Medicaid offers health insurance to people with very low or limited incomes. This includes persons with disabilities, the blind, elderly individuals and select families with dependent children. Although Medicaid is a Federal program, it is run by each individual state. Therefore, each state may have specific rules of eligibility, and even specific limits of coverage. Some basic eligibility requirements include pregnant women below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL), children under 6 years old whose family income is at or below 133 percent of the FPL, recipients of adoption or foster care assistance and children under 19 years old whose incomes are below the poverty line.
Services Provided by Medicaid
Some of the services provided by Medicaid’s health care plan are inpatient and outpatient hospital services, prenatal care, vaccines for children, physician services, family planning services, rural health clinic services and lab services. In addition to these, Medicaid also covers pediatric and family nurse practitioner services, nursing facility services for people above 21 and many other services.
Although Medicaid is primarily intended for people with low incomes, and even with the broadest interpretation of the Federal stature, the Medicaid program does not provide medical assistance for each and every poor person in the country. Low income is only one of the qualifications for Medicaid eligibility. One’s assets and resources are also taken into consideration, together with the specific prerequisites. For example, in some states, within a low-income family, only the children will be eligible for the plan, unless the parents are already elderly or the mother is pregnant.
Issues Regarding Medicaid
Many critics say that Medicaid has numerous weak points that have yet to be addressed. Some analysts argue that the growing Medicaid expenditures are becoming unsustainable, and that it is using up funds that could be used for other government programs. Others argue that the limited coverage of the program excludes many poor Americans who are in need of health assistance. In addition to this, low reimbursement rates cause many private doctors to refuse Medicaid patients. These are only some of the issues surrounding Medicaid that are still in discussion today.
Good health is important to every American. However, with the rising cost of services and goods, even health care has become more expensive than ever. This is a problem for many people, especially those with very limited incomes. To address this issue, the government has set up a couple of federally funded health insurance programs, Medicare and Medicaid.